Oxford United must play with no fear, says new boss

9:30am Wednesday 9th July 2014

By David Pritchard

MICHAEL Appleton used his first meeting with Oxford United’s players to call for them to stick to their strengths and play without fear.

The new head coach is well aware time is of the essence after starting work on Monday, just over a month before the start of the Sky Bet League Two season.

He is keen to bring in new players quickly, but also wants to get to know those already at the club.

Appleton spoke briefly to the squad to lay out his plans, and the former Portsmouth and Blackburn boss intends to lead by example.

He said: “I told them there’s going to be no Robert de Niro speeches. You’ll know what my qualities are and you’ll see what I’m about over the next days, weeks and months with the professionalism I bring to the party.

“I expect them over a period of time to come and introduce themselves to me and tell me about themselves.

“That’s how I work. I always have an open door and I’m quite an easy guy to get on with as long as you do your job properly.

“I just want the players to express themselves.

“Whatever qualities they bring to the team – do it without fear.

“Whether you’re someone who defends well, a good passer or like to attack people, stick to your strengths and relax.”

Dave Kitson is the only U’s player who has worked with Appleton before, when the pair were at Fratton Park during the 2011-12 season.

The rest will have to learn how the new boss wants to play, their first outing coming with the start of the pre-season games at Farnborough this Saturday.

Appleton believes his sides have a track record of attractive football but also acknowledged there was a need to be pragmatic.

He said: “Most people are going to say ‘I want an open brand of football’.

“They use all the right words and to be fair, with 90 per cent of them, that is what they want.

“With my background I think the majority of sides I’ve been with have always played good football.

“But on the other hand, you have to find a way to win.

“There will be occasions between November and January where the weather isn’t fantastic and there will be situations where we need to find a way to win when we’ll have our backs to the wall.

“Hopefully we have enough personalities and strength of character to do that.”

Latest Sport news

ATHLETICS: Mixed fortunes for Oxfordshire's leading trio

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 6th July 2015

OXFORD City’s Nathan Douglas secured his place in the World Athletics Championships in Beijing later this year with a fine display in the Sainsbury’s British Championships, writes STUART WEIR.

CRICKET: Spinners to the fore as Oxfordshire hit back to take upper hand

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Monday 6th July 2015

OXFORDSHIRE fought back well as spinners Will Beer and Luke Ryan gave them the upper hand in their Unicorns Counties Championship clash with Wales at Great & Little Tew.

CRICKET: Aston Rowant drop to bottom of the table

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

7:00am Monday 6th July 2015

Aston Rowant slumped to the foot of the Division 2 table after they were forced to settle for a draw at home to Gerrards Cross on Saturday.

CRICKET: Matt Woods and Andy Harris on song as leaders Tew master Shipton

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 6th July 2015

Great & Little Tew’s bowlers tore through Shipton-under-Wychwood’s top order as they recorded a five-wicket win at home in Saturday’s Division 2 derby encounter.

CRICKET: Will Rooney is start turn as Oxford cling on

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

7:00am Monday 6th July 2015

Will Rooney proved the star, but Oxford’s season shows no sign of improving after they were on the wrong end of a draw at home to Burnham in Division 1 on Saturday.

CRICKET: Adam Price is just right in Horspath victory

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 6th July 2015

Adam Price picked up a fivewicket haul after Robbie Eason carried his bat for an unbeaten 81 as Horspath posted a crushing 140-run victory at Tring Park in Division 1.

TENNIS: Alexis Canter falls to straight sets loss at Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 6th July 2015

Oxfordshire's Alexis Canter performed well on his Wimbledon debut, but admitted to mixed emotions after losing in straight sets to Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki on Saturday.

WEEKEND RESULTS: July 4-5

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

6:20am Monday 6th July 2015

 

Oxford United chief Darryl Eales: I wish we had got in sooner

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 4th July 2015

Darryl Eales says the only big regret of his first year in charge at Oxford United was the takeover was not completed sooner.

HORSE RACING: Victoria Pendleton debut delights trainer Lawney Hill

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Saturday 4th July 2015

LAWNEY Hill was delighted with Victoria Pendleton’s debut as a jockey at Newbury on Thursday night, writes MARK EDWARDS.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/